The Road to Success is Full of Twists and Turns


Success is a long road and it’s a direct reflection of our own work ethics. So, even if you see others succeeding around you in their chosen fields, I advise you not to panic. Success is like weight loss, those who lose weight faster have a far less likelihood of keeping it off. Those who lose one to two pounds of body-fat per month are more likely to keep the weight loss permanent. Well, success is no different.
The reason success is a long road is because there are a lot of avenues from which to go. For one, we must market our own product, in my case, the first book in a trilogy I’m releasing in late summer/early fall called Age of Columbia.


Social Media Scandal

For another, we must look beyond social media. From an indie-author’s perspective, we’re looking to align with book promoting firms, markets to outsource our books, book covers, building a blog, a website, an email list, and if we have time, promoting via social media.
Yet, we’re all conditioned to believe social media success requires fame.
That’s never the case, as those you may see succeeding around you post a script to social media. Social media for the most part is inflated success, much like an NFL Draft prospect’s inflated numbers due to running a system offense in college, only to implode at the next level (Robert Griffin, Andre Ware, Brandon Weeden, anyone?). If someone’s generating a lot of likes and comments on social media, fantastic, let them feel their false sense of success and let’s get back to reality.
The truth is you need to become successful by marketing toward your target market. Sure, your friends may love it each time you make an accomplishment and you may even post your success stories on social media, but if you have a couple thousand friends, it’s a small sample size. Let’s be honest.


Facebook: Fake News!

So, ignore the social media “sensations” on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever account you prefer. It’s false success. True success lies beyond a social platform. True success involves spreading a message to your target audience in hopes your target audience will take your message and spread it to the masses.
Know what I look for on social media?
Shares. Retweets. People reading my work and sharing it with their friends or followers. If someone likes a Facebook post or a tweet, how do I know they didn’t absentmindedly hit the like button? Comments? People may give me a compliment or critique, but sharing the work plays into my hands.
For example, once the Pepsi Guy (see previous posts) came across my work and noticed my little ruse, so he thought it was a good idea to share it on my Facebook timeline and his. Needless to say, my old blog, MatthewsFit, garnered 1,200 views within two days.
The above example shows the power of sharing and it’s going to get your name and message out there to more people than 1,200 likes ever will. Thanks, Pepsi Guy, you made my day a few months back. If you ever read this post, feel free to share it on every single social media platform you have.
Okay, but back to success.


Arnold and Stallone

Why is it such a long road?
Just like achieving true weight loss, true success takes time because the old cliché, the longer you wait, the better it gets (take wine, for instance) couldn’t bode to be truer. Think of guys like Stallone and Arnold who achieved fame later on, such as in their mid to late-twenties or early thirties. Now look at a few child stars. How many child stars go on to be stars as adults? Few.
Stallone’s story is beyond inspiring, but so is Arnold’s, who had to escape Austrian social norms to become what he wanted. Stallone slept in a bus station for three weeks and was left with nothing when he wrote Rocky.
The road to success is full of twists, turns, sinkholes, and jagged rocks. The strongest survive. If you’re reading this post and you’re struggling, keep moving forward.

Anything worth having involves a struggle. A walk into the unknown. A walk into hell. But such walks will strengthen your mind, body, and soul. You’re going to emerge stronger, more confident, and ready to attack each day.


The Success Ritual

Here’s an exercise to do that I learned last night. It’s new age, but it’s full of Wicca at the same time, which is my forte. Picture a domed circle in front of you, us Wiccans use a sword to create such a circle. Enter the circle, as I would from the east, and picture a dome above you. Picture walls surrounding you. Us Wiccans will continue to raise energy to the point we’re feeling it all around us.
Around you, picture signs with phrases that hold you back. For myself, it’s overthinking, insecurity, adversity in my past, being shunted to one side in my past, my confidence going to the wayside, lacking confidence with even the smallest situations, and the works. Picture everything holding you back. Whatever it is holding you back from success, picture it all around you.
Picture a fire pit in the center of the dome. Us Wiccans use an altar with burning candles, preferably green or red, as it generates strength or success. Rip these notes from the walls, visualizing everything that holds you back, take them all off. Sometimes in Wicca, we’re physically write or draw such things, and burn them, allowing the fire to absorb.

Throw all of these problems, obstacles, and roadblocks into the firepit. Sometimes, praying to a higher power, such as myself to Pan and Selena, the Lord and Lady, respectively, will help. Invite such higher powers into the circle and let them assist you in destroying everything that holds you back.
Then, repeat the ritual the following day. Do this again, again, and again. Perhaps try it once outdoors, as for us Wiccans it’s our natural ritual habitat. Whatever works for you, and in time, your habits will change, and your road will be clearer. Your brain will rewire itself, and soon you’ll find yourself light years ahead of where you were.